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America 7, Michelle Obama 4, Roger 4, Romney 4, Mitt Romney 3, Bill Clinton 3, Washington 3, Us 3, Israel 3, Clinton 2, Paul Ryan 2, Obama 2, Ann Romney 2, Rahm Emanuel 2, Colby 2, Jerusalem 2, Charlotte 2, Ledbetter 1, Hurston 1, Mary Michelle Obama 1,
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  WETA    Inside Washington    News/Business. Round-table  
   discussions feature journalists. (CC)  

    September 8, 2012
    6:00 - 6:30pm EDT  

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>> "inside washington" is brought you in part by the american federation of government employees, proud to make america work. for more information about afge and membership, visit afge.org. >> what do you think of a tree can be? can it be stronger than steel? can a treat be biodegradable plastic? can it be fuel for our cars, or clothing, or medicine that fights cancer? with our tree cell technology, we think it can. weyerhaeuser, growing ideas. >> america, i never said this journey would be easy.
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>> this week on "inside washington," president obama makes his case for a second act. >> yes, that pat is harder, but it leads to a better place. the road is longer but we travel it together. we leave no one behind. >> his supporting cast. >> for barack, success is not about how much money you make, it is about the difference you make in people's lives. >> this man has courage in his soul, compassion in his heart, and a spine of steel. >> abortion, contraception, the women's vote. >> on day one and they came out for women's health and have not let up since. >> big dog is backed. >> we simply cannot afford to give the reins of government to someone who will go down on trickle-down -- double down on trickle-down.
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captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org-- >> i don't want to bore you with the numbers but as of friday morning, president obama, 46.7%, mitt romney, a 46.7%. they are statistically tied in battleground states as well. 2/3 of the american people think that the country is headed in the wrong direction, and we learned that the jobless rate is 8.1%, down one from 8.3 but still not good. the stirring oratory at the democratic convention in charlotte a son, the president mountain tohave mountai climb. you were there, roger. how big is the mountain? >> i think he built a few
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mountains for republicans, regardless of the polling, of which i am not the greatest fan in the world. what democrats did in three days in an almost flawless convention, except for a bauble the platform, was to bring their own party together, energize id, get out the vote, and make an important recasting of the parties. they cast the republican party as the party of complete, selling american short, while the democrats were willing to take a hard path to lead us to the right path. >> charles, was that the same convention you watched? >> no, i saw a completely different one. i saw a party that gave us low growth, an anemic recovery, and not talk about the president, not talking about what it had done or the consequences of its policies. this is all about empathy.
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the only reason obama is not 20 points behind, which he should be on the basis of his record, is because there is this huge empathy gap, 20 points ahead of ronny on who cares about average americans. this is all about empathy, log cabin or engines, and they but on a hell of a show. it's a lot of tears in that audience. >> colby, tell me about the convention you watched. >> i was not in the same universe as charles -- >> well, you live in a completely different world. [laughter] and you drink -- what is it, the kool-aid -- >> well, you are getting off to a good start, charles. i thought that the democratic convention went very well. i don't think was just a matter of empathy. they stood up for some of the
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things they considered achievements. clearly, the gender gap that's there was widened by the great display put on by some of the speakers, from michelle obama to ledbetter. they were all substantive. i don't see it the way charles season. i know where those glasses. >> i caught up with mark shields on the hot, crowded streets of charlotte. >> democrats have to make a choice. if it is a referendum on whether barack obama has done a good job, they are in trouble. >> what are you going to do for us for the next four years? did we get any answer to that?
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>> i was absolutely stunned. that was one of the andes speeches i've ever heard on a national stage. -- emptiest speeches i've ever heard on the national stage. incidentally, if he is so proud of his record, his three great legislative attempts -- obamacare, a stimulus, cap-and- trade -- no mention whatsoever in the speech. he cannot speak about his past, his own agenda, and when he talked about the future, he pulled numbers out of had. 100,000 new teachers, 600,000 people working and natural gas, 2 million people on retraining. these are numbers invented. he did not explain once. he did not say once what programs, what policies, what he would do to actually achieve these numbers. i founded astonishingly lazy and, as he would say, and
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complete as an acceptance speech. >> did he tell us how the next four years will be different, roger? >> in many important respects, he did. he talked about medicare and how republicans will turn it into vouchercare. he did speak about the record, but it was not a state of the union address. s thees accurately pinpoint empathy gap. problem for romney is that there's no huge romney movement in the country. there is a sizable anti-obama movement, and when obama cuts into that feeling, it boosts him and sinks romney. >> i thought one of clinton's lines really hit home. the amount of hate that the r barackans have fou
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obama is just astounding. it is not just political differences, it is really visceral 8. and you hear it week after week, day after day, moment after moment from the fox crowd. >> that is complete rubbish. i have not heard one republican use the language that the leader of the california delegation used in describing paul ryan as goebbels of our time. he had to excuse himself and returned home after that because of a previously scheduled root canal. >> if you are saying you have not heard a visceral hatred expressed for barack obama, maybe i will stop the show -- >> let's not, just to be nice to me. the first lady wins rave reviews, but not from everyone.
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>> when you work hard and have done well and walk through the doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you. you reach back. >> i thought michelle obama did an enormously effective job without ever mentioning mitt romney's name, without ever mentioning the fact that there was a republican party or nominee for president. dramatically drawing the differences between these individuals and how their values have been formed. >> charles, your turn. >> how much did you have to pay for that studio space? >> it cost a fortune. [laughter] >> yes, michelle obama. i thought it was a brilliantly cynical speech. it was done a marvelously. the theme was he loves his children, his wife, his family, therefore he loves everybody.
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i buy the first three -- i think he has a terrific guy in that way. but it is a non sequitur. but her will recommend, if it is really an argument -- it was all anecdotes -- was that empathy his agenda. drain him of any ideological motive for his election. this is a guy extremely ideological and enormously ambitious. to pretend, as she did successfully, that there is none of that in him is a marvel. >> "brilliantly cynical." >> i just cannot believe he is going after them and's wife. i cannot believe he did that, but he did. >> because she is a woman?
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>> did you offer similar comments about ann romney's speech? >> it was a different speech by different woman. >> did she not also talk about her husband, feelings -- but no, let's not taldo that. when it comes to the obamas, for goodness sakes, they do nothing right. i will go ahead and accept that from you, charles. maybe to make you happy, they should just die -- >> break it up, roger. >> sasha and malia are fine human beings treat seriously, i thought she delivered a fine speech and ann romney did a good job, too. these are speeches by spouses talking about why they love their husbands. but i thought michelle obama brought it to a new level when she said that the presidency doesn't change who you are, it
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reveals who you are. look at how the president has acted the last four years. look at how mitt romney has behaved as a candidate. is he telling us about his past, about his tax returns, those swiss bank accounts? >> she did not say that. >> no, but the implication might have been there. >> i don't accept the sexes assumption that i'm required to have the same reaction to any woman or any spouse giving a speech. second, i thought the ann romney speech was less effective than the michelle obama speech. she had a riff about how much she loves women. i thought was unnecessary and it sounded forced. the part in which she spoke about her husband was effective, but warming him up was harder than a warm up,.
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>> but cynical? >> oh, yes. of course it was cynical. >> abortion, contraception, the women's vote. >> the democratic party has established itself relentlessly through johnny one-note mantra that they are the pro-abortion rights, pro-same-sex marriage party. people are worried a lot more about the economy, the debt, and growth, the kids' future. this is a message to try and engage, i guess, emotionally, passionately, and actively pro- choice women to vote for barack obama. >> johnny one-note on abortion and contraception, roger. do you agree with that? >> i think the democrats have accurately portray themselves as the party that cares about women
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instead of making war on women. women are more than 50% of the vote and vote in greater proportions than men. mitt romney has a 20% gap with women, meaning he is getting 20% fewer women votes than barack obama is. that is a huge gap to perhaps the most important voting bloc of america. >> charles? >> i am still struck by how much -- you must have spent a fortune on all those extras in the chart with mark. [laughter] it looks so spontaneous. >> walking down the street. >> there were two excellent speeches, sebelius and rahm emanuel. neither was in prime time, nobody saw it. they were exactly what you want in the convention. hurston was defending obamacare and she did extremely well, --
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her king was defending obamacare and she did extremely well, and rahm emanuel was doing the thing about i was there when he saved the west, essentially. a little bit of a tall tale, but he did it. the worst speech was -- sandra fluke is her name? -- that the civil-rights issue of her time is that she ought to have others pay for contraceptives. and remarkably sort of entitled and an appealing argument -- un appealing argument. >> i thought one of the effective moments in the convention was the ted kennedy tribute, where they showed the excerpt of the debate between him and mitt romney, in which mitt romney declared his unswerving devotion and commitment to a woman's right to choose, that he was there all the way and did not want to interfere with that. look at where he is now and look at his platform.
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>> he had that wonderful line, "i am pro-choice, governor romney is multiple choice." >> has anything changed on that? >> what has changed is the way the country looks at abortion. it is the one social issue where the country has moved right. 50% of americans are self- described pro-choice, 10% more than pro-life -- i'm sorry, i got that wrong. half are pro-life, and that is more than the number who are pro-choice, which is a real change from 20 years ago that we saw in that clip. >> in a lot of talk about the economy and women's issues. what did they not talk about at the convention? >> what they should have talked about is the question of the deficit and the debt, how we got there --
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>> the president mentioned that the debt. >> not to the extent that he should have. he has got to talk about how we got there and how we get out of it. you don't take on something like that necessarily in an acceptance speech, but as a convention they did not address it. that is something that is a glaring omission. >> it is and a mission of the four years. obama did not touch it in the four years, and he is supposed be making a speech about the vision of the future. everybody understands that the threat we're facing has to do with rising entitlements, because we're an aging population with increasing technology and medical care. that is the issue of our time. roger mentioned medicare and how obama is going to hang onto
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it. you cannot hang onto it. obama said in july of last year no matter how much you raise taxes, medicare is unsustainable. he has done nothing on that, nothing on social security, nothing on tax reform. that is why he had nothing to say. >> i see that cliff out there and i feel like "thelma and louise." >> what was not said was one of the most emotional moments of the three days was the appearance of gabby giffords giving the pledge of allegiance. people were on their feet, people were crying. how many of those democrats who spoke at night engine and under control -- mention the gun control? the democrats don't want to talk about it. they want to cheer for gabby at how wonderful and great chia's, and she is both of
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those things. but, and supporting sensible gun safety laws is a way to prevent future gabby giffords. >> how about god and jerusalem and israel? it is back in the platform -- >> all's well that ends well. how they take it out, i don't understand. at the end of the day, they put it back, but it was just klutzy. >> no, i thought it was revealing. i watched it live. everybody was stunned, because everybody thought that the restoration would go easily. it was obvious that the nos were at least as strong as the yeas,
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and the chairman, the mayor of l.a., was totally stunned by what happened. he had to call the roll three times, and it was obvious that it had not passed, and yet he declared it passed. the reaction of the crowd, particularly those jewish and non-jewish who care about israel, seeing the vociferousness of the opposition, it will leave an impression of how the democratic party has changed from a party that used to be so strongly of israel. >> platforms have to come away with the mainstream of the party to pay off the extremists in the party so that there are no floor fights. the republicans give it strong abortion language, who cares, let's get it done. the democrats, forget about god, jerusalem, let's get it done. that was a mistake for the democrats. president obama himself said we had to change that language.
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>> a lot of talk about the military. >> bill kristol also made this observation -- mitt romney did not even mentioned the troops in harm's way for this country another glaring omission. it says nothing about, as far as i'm concerned, romney's patriotism -- >> tactical mistakes. >> tactical mistake. >> we saw a stunning shift in which the democratic party wh change into the party of the military and patriotism and whacking at the rebel against not only for not thinking the troops, but romney -- whacking the republicans for not only not thanking the troops but romney for saying it was not worth it to go after bin laden. >> a man of few words.
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>> i want to nominate a man who is cool on the outside but prince for america and -- burns for america on the inside. [applause] and by the way, after last night, i want to nominate a man who had the good sense to mary michelle obama. [applause] >> who could have imagined that such a thing, colby? >> with bill clinton, there is no limit. i have been watching him since he was governor of arkansas. my wife worked with him when he was governor. i like watching him in public, watching him in private. this guy is unbelievable, and he has got this magnetism that just connects with people. it was -- let's not go into what kind of speech it was. it was very effective for what
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he had to do with the convention hall. >> you saw the speech and he thought, boy, that old dog can still do it. when i saw him hugging barack obama, i thought, this may be the hug that reelect the president. charles has been on a point twice today. he talked about the empathy gap, how mrs. ronny had a more difficult time warming her husband up and then michelle did. you don't vote for a guy you don't like. >> you are a psychiatrist. here are two tigers in a cage. how to they come together and hug? >> i am a psychiatrist in remission. [laughter] clinton is a wonder of the world. we have this incredible
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performer. >> who was impeached. >> and here he is. but i thought the speech was an effective in promoting obama. it was all about promoting clinton, and he spoke 50 minutes and was sort of getting into it. he went on these riffs. by the end, half-expected to say, "you know, i have second thoughts." [laughter] "i withdraw the nomination of barack obama and i will place myself in nomination, and to those of you constitutional sticklers, how about my wife?" i would've loved the roll call on that. it would have been close. >> colby? >> after that speech, bill clinton went to another gathering and held forth for another 20 minutes. >> when he and gore were on the
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bus, you could never get them back on the bus because he wanted to talk to everybody in america. >> it drove his staff crazy. he said, "look, there are people here today with small children who will say, when you grow up, you met the president that date." bill clinton, whenever you want to say about how he conducted himself, had an elevated view of the office of the presidency. >> i am not sure that is exactly how he conducted himself with that perception of the office of the presidency, which in the end heat disgrace. >> finally, a word from mark shields. how many of these have you cover? >> this is my 21st national convention. >> you still enjoying it? >> i am enjoying it too much. i am a person in the late stages of early senility, and i'm
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enjoying it enormously. there is ted strickland. did you hear the speech he gave last night? >> two most popular people at the democratic convention, michelle obama and mark shields. the most popular of the republican convention, paul ryan and charles krauthammer. just amazing. see you next week. >> "inside washington" is brought you in part by the american federation of government employees, proud to make america work. for more information about afge and membership, visit afge.org. vo:geico, committed to providing service to
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